What a difference a year makes – Bring on 2014

This time last year I took a huge leap, a risk is perhaps a better word.  I quit a reasonably well paid job with plenty of potential to earn more.  Back then people doubted me and thought I was making a huge mistake.  Now let me tell you how I proved them wrong.

12 months on, on average for the months I have worked self-employed, I have made more than what I would have worked in the job that I left.  Some would argue that isn’t a major success.  Let me tell you why I disagree.  Freedom.

For the past 12 months I have been able to work from home, I don’t have to get up early to drive in rush hour traffic to get to an office from 8:30 – 9:00 am Monday to Friday.  I also learnt something about myself.  I am not a morning person, I work best from 11 am onwards.  I also work well in the evenings.  So don’t get me wrong, being self-employed, I work way more than the 8 hour days I used to, but I work on my terms.  If I want a day off, I can have it, I can catch up over the weekend.  I can work when suits me best.  This is a fantastic luxury.

The second point is I have still managed to maintain a ‘Life’  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t go out an insane amount, like a lot of my employed friends do, but there is a good reason for this which I will come to later.  But I still get to enjoy myself.  Back in January I spent just under a week in Sweden and Finland which was incredible, and then this summer I spent just under 3 weeks in the USA and Canada.  The most notable point is I don’t get ‘holiday allowance’ now I work for myself so when I;’m not working I don’t get paid. Looking at this year, though I haven’t been chained to my desk ‘no life-ing’ it as the saying goes.

For me this is the exciting part.  Leaving employment last year and the year that has followed has done one thing to me in particular.  Made me fearless (In the work sense at least).  I took a risk last year and it paid off, and I now know that when the chips are down and I have no other choice, I can make a living on my own.

So as most of you reading this will know for the past few months and for the foreseeable future I am dedicating my time to working on a new exciting project called UnderstandingE with Matt Ogborne.  If you haven’t seen it already I implore you to check it out at understandinge.com/now It will be really useful for E-commerce business owners and dare I say you can’t afford to ignore it.

Whilst building UnderstandingE which is no mean feat in itself, I am taking a hit on earning as most of my time (i.e more than 10 hour days and 6 day weeks) is going into building something that could have a massive impact in 2014.  Why would I do this?  Simple.  Because number 1. I can and Number 2. the benefits of being involved with something like this is not only a challenge, but something that could be incredibly rewarding, to know we have helped so many businesses.


Anyone Can Do This

I am nothing special, I have no amazing skill set which sets me apart from anyone else.  What I have done though is, I found something I am passionate about and have a lot of motivation to make something work. It’s amazing how motivated you become when you don’t have a choice, and you need to make something work.

I remember hearing someone say that even if you fail you still win.  Let me explain.  Can you imagine having a business idea, or an opportunity to do something different in front of you, and you turn it down.  Then when your 80+ years old, you look back and think “God, I wish I’d have done that”  Can you imagine that feeling?

Now lets flip the situation.  You take a risk, you try setting up a business in something your passionate about, novelty baseball caps, for example.  The bad news is not many others share your passion for novelty baseball caps and the business fails.  But when your 80+ looking back you can smile and say “yea I tried it, it didn’t work, but at least I know I tried.”  You still win for that very reason.  No regrets.

So one last question for you… What’s stopping you doing what you’re passionate about?


Meet UnderstandingE at eCommerce Expo 2013 @ Olympia 2nd October

By now you’ll have heard quite a lot of buzz about UnderstandingE, we believe it’s going to put you back in control and change the world of eCommerce forever and we bet you’d like to know more and here’s your only chance before January.

This is something never done before, we have a clear vision and a single goal of what we are going to achieve and using the passion we have for eCommerce we truly believe that what we launch in January will be of benefit to soooo many online sellers like you.

Find Out What UnderstandingE is

Myself and Matt Ogborne will be making our first appearance as UnderstandingE at the eCommerce Expo next week.  We will only be there for a few hours on Weds 2nd October because of the epic challenge we have set ourselves between now and January 1st and need to get back the grindstones.

We are arranging a special meetup at one of the stands at 2:00pm.  This way we can get to share with you, the cool people, the business owners what exactly it is we are up to and how with your help, together we’re going to create something amazing.

So Which Stand?

To find out which stand we’ll loitering on at 2pm, pop your name & email on the UnderstandingE site here and we’ll let you know on Wednesday morning.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dave & Matt

The Power of Passion

The power of passion is a crazy but often overlooked commodity in the modern-day world…but why?  Do you remember growing up, when you wanted to be an astronaut, a jet pilot, an actor/actress etc. etc.  When you are younger you are brave enough to dream big.  For many, though these dreams change as they grow older which is fine, I wouldn’t recommend following a dream you once had as a four year old for the rest of your life.  What does appear to change though is circumstance and the ability to follow your dreams.  I know so many people who are stuck in jobs they don’t like working with or for people they don’t like all because “It pays the bills” or “It’s secure”  Well I hate to break it to you but you are existing not living.  You are not reaching your full potential, and this is because you are not following your passion.

I got lucky, I fell into e-commerce totally by accident, but I am passionate about e-commerce and that is why I believe I have been so successful in working in this industry and I hope to continue doing for many years to come.  Now I can probably guess what you’re thinking…is it something along the lines of… “But I don’t know what I’m passionate about, or I can’t make money at what I’m passionate about.”  Well, luckily for you I know just the thing that can help.

Enter Danielle MercerNomad

Danielle is a good friend of mine and we have both used each other to bounce business ideas of for quite a while now.  To give you some background on Danielle, she had a really well paying job as a test analyst for some of the largest companies in the UK, but the entrepreneur inside of her knew that she wasn’t fulfilling her passion.  She was passionate about Wine…more so than those who use it as a tool to not be able to walk after a few bottles.  For anyone who knows Danielle as soon as you are on the subject of wine you can see the enthusiasm for the subject in everything she says on the subject.  I have had the pleasure of getting drunk wine tasting with Danielle on numerous occasions and I now hold her personally responsible for me drinking more wine than I ever imagined I would, especially the bubble variety.


Danielle has preached the above, she set up her business in wine tasting, which you can find out more about here: Nomad Wine Tasting.  By doing this Danielle has realised another passion of hers, which is helping people do exactly what she has done in following their passions.  Now this is where it gets interesting.  Danielle wants to help you find your passion and pursue it.  Danielle introduces her ‘pursue your passion’ package below:

I’m really excited that I am offering a ‘Pursue your Passion’ package. After finding my passion in wine, I found that my purpose was to help others find and follow their passion and have come up with a package that does this based on my own personal experience and Coaching.

The ‘Pursue your Passion’ package includes:

–          An Entrepreneur profile test to see what type of an Entrepreneur you are and how to be successful

–          6 x 1-2-1 Coaching Sessions to help you find and follow your passion – Sessions can be face to face (if local to Manchester area), phone or Skype

–          Tools and resources to help you fully understand your passion

–          Continued email support on your journey

This package is ideal for people who may have a successful job, but feel like something is missing and want to do something different or more fulfilling.

I have 10 spaces available for this package starting in September for the price of £400 which is a saving of £150 if you book by 31st August.

Danielle is currently having the coaching website built, but if you are interested in the above course and I really hope some of you are, as she will really get you thinking about things you hadn’t even considered before then you can get in touch with her here:  Mob number: 07966530071  e-mail: danielle@mih-coaching.co.uk Twitter – @daniellemercer  Even if you just want to find out more info then drop Danielle an e-mail at least or send her a tweet.

Passion is a ridiculously powerful thing almost everything you can think of was created by passionate people or ‘the ones crazy enough to believe it would work’  To hit home the point a little further I found this video the other day after Snap chatting Gary Vaynerchuk (Clang, Name Drop) In his typical no nonesense style he tells it like it is in the video below.  Also he is definitely worth a follow on Twitter @garyvee


Don’t Forget The Important Thing…Health

This is something that hit home this week, and something I have been neglecting ever since becoming self-employed.  One of the main benefits of being self-employed is having the freedom to manage your own time better and not be chained to a desk or office for 8 straight hours at a time.  I however have failed at this.  Being a consultant means that I know the more hours I work the more I get paid.  Because of this I have sometimes taken it to the extreme and haven’t left myself (or made myself) enough time for the freedom that self employment brings.  What I am talking about here is fitness.Exercise

Stick me in front of a computer or give me a phone and I can be incredibly productive no matter where I am in the world, and that is strangely addictive.  But what is it all worth if you don’t have your health?

I have noticed this, had a word with myself and at a board meeting with myself we have decided to do something about it.

This is where I need your help.  I have signed up to do the Color Run in Manchester to raise money for Cancer Research UK.  I won’t go into my  personal experiences with Cancer but the vast majority of us have got a story to tell.  So i roped in my other half and my sister for moral support and the three of us have set up a Just Giving page to help raise as much money as we can.  Anything you could give would be amazing, and would not only help go towards a cure for cancer, but it also makes me feel somewhat more motivated knowing that you are sponsoring me to shift my arse for charity.  Where this goes after the Color Run I have no idea, but I promise you I won’t stop there.

Here is the Just Giving link: http://www.justgiving.com/ColorRunDalazo Anything at all you can donate would be greatly appreciated.  Even if you have one less drink this weekend and donate that money to Cancer, you are making a difference.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for reading.


Work Hard & Be Nice To People (no time for Ego’s)


  1. The feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust: “we had every confidence in the staff”.



  1. A person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance: “a boost to my ego”.



Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities


Working in business has taught me many things.  Mostly it has been centered around e-Commerce and web marketing etc.  Since becoming self-employed as a consultant however I have had the ability to deal with many different types of people on a one to one basis.  I am admittedly a people person, the quickest way to drive me crazy would be to stick me in an empty room with no-one to talk to.  What I still find interesting though is how different people can be, and this all seems to boil down to Ego.  Now don’t get me wrong, confidence is a good thing, being confident in your abilities in my opinion only makes you better at what you do.

The dangerous aspect of this is when it comes to the Ego stage.  Again having an Ego is OK, when people start recognising you for your particular skill set or ability and telling you about it this will boost your ego.  The difference here is your ability to keep it in check.  I have met a few people now who have tipped over the edge of having an Ego into being Arrogant.  This is not good.

I like to think that I will get on with most people, I always try to look for the best in people, but I do really struggle with arrogance, and people who have an ego for no perceivable reason.  I see the way that these arrogant people talk to their members of staff or colleagues, and I don’t understand it.  I have the pleasure of meeting some fantastically interesting people, people who by their own right should have an ego and you could perhaps forgive them for being a little bit arrogant.  However they are the exact opposite.  CEO’s and Managing Directors of multi-million pound businesses who are amongst the most humble and modest people I have ever met.  There is a common relationship between the people I meet who are arrogant and those that are not.


Those that are arrogant see people as a means to an end.  Their staff are there to do a job, if they don’t do that job they can be replaced.  Their business partners are there to benefit themselves too so why shouldn’t they do the same.  Arrogance leads to believing that you know it all, which is never the case.  Whereas the modest and humble people I meet all recognise what their biggest asset is.  People.  They surround themselves with the best people they can.  They are not threatened by them because they know something they don’t. They surround themselves with people who can bridge the knowledge or experience gap that exists.  By doing this they acknowledge they don’t know it all, and therefore check their ego.

For me, people are the most interesting aspect of any business.  Everyone is different, everyone has different stories to tell and experiences to share. Whenever I meet someone new, I want to find out more about them, and hopefully learn from them.

What I am getting at is, for me there is no room for ego’s and arrogance…it’s simple.  Work Hard and Be Nice To People.